I took half the day off tomorrow to vote. Not for some stupid symbolic reason out there in the ether that doesn't really concretely affect me or vice versa (ie: voting 'jobs not mobs' or voting 'against white supremacy,' or whatever). At least for myself I have a hard time being in the know about that stuff and not letting it take me over. But I thought that from now until the beast comes, I can vote for what might provide the situation so I can grow, What I mean is for low taxes so I wont be pressed harder on money than otherwise (if my vote has any effect-which it mightn't, and of course, God might have other plans for me anyway). Maybe it is a bad idea. I didn't vote for Trump because he seemed unpredictable (ie irrational actor). But you will never choose anything or do anything if you think like that. I hope it is not bad.
But I decided not to do it. I don't see a middle ground. To vote responsibly at all you have to know what is going on to a good degree, and I am trying to get away from all that. I think it might be different for people my grandmother's age because they can handle it, but younger people-we never lived in a world without it and it is getting worse and time goes on (with 24/7 net access on our devices that go everywhere). My grandmother even said at one point the news only came on once a day (not all day), and that just seems inconceivable to me. How will you know how many ice cream scoops the president just had? (Just kidding). Anyway, so I will just try to relax tomorrow.
PS: Just to explain it now: if you are on twitter, you can get 24/7 up to do news instantaneous from all the big news outlets and some smaller ones, plus almost instantaneous reactions/responses from organization, leaders, pundits, etc along with it. And more. Just on twitter. By the time it gets on the news on TV, it is already (or becoming) old news. I don't think that is healthy, but it is the world we live in now. I don't know how it will affect the rise of the beast.
As I probably mentioned, I'm not a voter . . . but I thought the election wasn't
for a couple of weeks and that it was only a mid-term (not presidential).
In any case, I do think Christians are happier if they realize that politics are pointless because God is in complete control of what happens and gives every nation what they deserve while protecting those who are walking closely with Him. So if we give all of our energy to politics we will change absolutely nothing; but if we make every effort to walk closer to the Lord, we will not only be happier but also more secure in the event of whatever happens because He is our true security.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I just signed the petition "Attorney General of Sri Lanka: Citizens demanding action against MPs for violent & criminal behaviour in Parliament" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.
Our goal is to reach 2,332 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:
Here is what I read in scripture:
Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the LORD that one gets justice.
Proverbs 29:26 NIV
God can fix anything, but if believers get involved in trying to do it for Him,
generally bad things happen, the worst of which is that believers tend to be
swept up then in seeking political solutions and their spirituality and growth
suffers. But if we concentrate on spiritual growth, progress in our walk with
the Lord, and the production He wants from us, we become "salt" for our nation
and things may indeed "get better" because the Lord works on our behalf (see
"the salt principle").
I don't sign petitions, but I have been praying for you daily, my friend, and for an end to persecution of believers in your country as well.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord for whom nothing is impossible.
Sir, may I ask you a Bible question?
I know Joab killed that guy that David wanted to work with to bring peace. But later he seemed to kind of save David when David cried over his side winning over Absalom. Is it wrong for me to think that maybe this should have been a 'you're even now' thing and David not kill him later. If Joab had said nothing, would his army have deserted him?
This is not really a Bible question, feel free to skip if you prefer. I know you don't like Christians getting into politics. But there is a bit of intersection with politics and culture and religion. They are saying in the news that SS will go bankrupt soon. I read an article today that was scathing of the Baby Boomers-that they had a prosperous country and gave their kids a bankrupt one, that they inherited strong families and left a trail of broken families and divorce, strong churches but left their kids dying ones, etc, etc. (I am leaving out the fun drugged up, orgy filled, no responsibility 60s). My own Baby Boomer grandmother said that my parents' generation did not raise their kids like her parents' (the greatest gen) did or at all even. Is it fair after all that, to tax my people my age into oblivion because, after having the most prosperous lifestyles out of all of history, and not at all raising us like they were raised but making us reinvent the wheel and figure it out on our own, they also want a rich retirement? I mean in the main, certainly not all older people are like that. It seems a fair question, because I imagine most of these Baby Boomers would consider themselves Christian. Most people my age don't know what was passed to the Baby Boomers but not passed on to them and if they did, I think they might feel robbed. (I know because I am weird and ask my grandmother too many questions, and read). What does the Lord think of this? Are young Christians just supposed to foot a 33% tax plus spend the rest of our money on our own elders-is it wrong to say 'you had plenty and blew it, we get a life too, albeit one not as rich'. Please correct me if I am wrong.
I really liked your Revelation book (it is a book, when I copied it to Word it was sooo long-but good)!
On your politics question, this is a perfect example of what is wrong
with Christians obsessing about politics. There are no "baby boomers"
and there is no "younger generation" . . . not in God's eyes. In God's
eyes there is person X who is 62 years old and there is person Y who is
26 years old and they are viewed by Him in regard to their attitude
towards His Son. Grouping people together and drawing conclusions about
individuals as a result of their "membership" in the group is something
God never does. So neither should we. Incidentally, I heard on the news
that social security is on schedule to go "bust" in 2033 the year
Christ returns. Any believer who has paid the slightest attention will
have left Babylon at that point. So I wouldn't worry about it. Nothing
we can do will affect what goes on in this country in the meantime, with
one exception. The closer we get to the Lord, the more weight our
prayers carry and the more we are "salt" to whatever group we belong to.
On Revelation, which part of the series are you referring to? Just curious (there are nine parts).
On Joab, he survived David. He was only executed for treason for attempting to overthrow king Solomon and put his brother on the throne in his place.
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
On Revelation, I mean it is amazing all the Scriptural references you
provided on everything, especially the OT ones. And the truth as you
said that either we are willing to stand with Him come what may, or we
are not. (Do we really believe)
Yes but David told Solomon to kill Joab before Joab did that.
I don't want you to feel pressured. But would you consider putting her on the prayer list? You don't have to of course.
On Joab, I would refer you to the recently posted link where Joab and
Adonijah's conspiracy is discussed ("Old
Testament Interpretation X" starting with Q/A #12). In terms of
why David was not pleased with Joab, here is something I wrote later in
that link: " Off the top of my head: 1) murdering Abner; 2) cooperating
in the murder of Uriah instead of refusing to have anything to do with
it; 3) facilitating the return of Absalom (which resulted in
revolution); 4) trying to make Adonijah king instead of Solomon both
after and before David was dead". If you read the link, I think you'll
see that Joab was dangerous for Solomon's reign. David saw that clearly
enough, and what he said was important for Solomon to hear. Despite
being a great soldier and military commander with plenty of good things
on his side of the ledger, Joab certainly also had done more than enough
to warrant being put to death in any case; David's injunction is both
protective of Solomon and gracious to Joab because he never would have
been executed if hadn't engaged in conspiracy . . . again.
I will try to remember to keep your grandmother in prayer as well and I added a prayer request for her on the Ichthys prayer list.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
[distressed by political-correctness persecution from friends]
It's no problem. I can see you are upset about this. And that is the
point I try to make. Political involvement, discussion, activity etc.
always gets people riled up (especially nowadays), but 1) it rarely ever
changes anyone's mind, and even more to the point 2) it is absolutely
devoid of anything spiritually redeeming. But what it DOES do is
distract Christians from spiritual growth, progress and production,
meanwhile robbing them of the peace that is in Jesus Christ.
Politics is also dangerous. Beyond the above (bad enough that our walk with Christ is corrupted by politics), we live in a day and age wherein as you rightly report there are practical negative consequences for "having the wrong opinion". Here are a few scriptures on that:
A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself;
The simple pass on and are punished.
Proverbs 27:12 NKJV
The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.
Psalm 12:8 NIV85
Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
Isaiah 59:15a NIV
Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil.
Amos 5:13 NIV
So while I do not commend cowardice, prudence at such a time as the one we are living in is a necessary virtue. There is no value in casting pearls before swine if only to be trampled. And the Lord did not tell us to be wise as serpents even as we are harmless as doves for no reason. A good application of the latter is to shun the company of those who are going to undermine our peace and our spiritual welfare. We are not required to associate with all believers just because they claim to be Christians.
I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortionernot even to eat with such a person.
1st Corinthians 5:9-11 NKJV
The other point to make is that we live on the cusp of the Tribulation. During
those seven years, Christians, genuine Christians who do not compromise with
antichrist, will be persecuted. We can and we must deal with that, even if it
means martyrdom. But what is not generally appreciated is that a full one third
of actual believers today are going to fall away to follow the beast. How could
that happen? Short answer: politics. Christians who are seeking political
solutions will find in antichrist their "champion". After all, he will claim to
be Christ (hence his name).
But for you dear friend I have good expectations, things which bespeak spiritual growth, progress and production for the Lord.
Keep on fighting the good fight in Jesus Christ our Lord,
could you look at this conversation and tell me whether I handled it well? I have had a weird feeling about it since I had it.
I don't strictly disagree with your video but neither do I make a point of agreeing with it. I think that itself and the Crusade it is advocating are about as dangerous for Christians as the trend that it is bucking against. I've learned and am learning to make it a point of duty to stay out of these things - politics, social causes of one sort or another etc. And my reason is that all of them are dangerous red herrings. The issue in this world is God's Truth. Not economic or political paradigms. Granted that we live in a world where we have to deal with other people and thus must at least tolerate some political or economic culture, we are not therefore obliged to give so much of ourselves to it especially when we end up finding ourselves challenged to fix things somehow. If we believe the Bible, then we believe that this world lies in the wicked one and that it is not going to be fixed in part or in whole until our Lord Jesus returns. Our part according to the Bible is to be respectful, civil, law-abiding citizens wherever we are who live in complete confidence that not a single event in history is independent of God, that our God controls every last thing that happens in the universe. So that wherever we are, whatever is happening there is entirely part of our Father's Eternal Plan and we need not get in a huff about it. That does not mean that we will become doormats. We need not allow ourselves to be bullied by anyone. Neither our Lord Jesus Christ nor His Apostles nor great believers and prophets of old allowed the world to dictate to them what they must do.
The real issue is when the law is hijacked to prevent human beings from willingly choosing to seek, learn, believe and apply God's Truth to their lives and help others who are willing to do the same. When that happens - and it very soon will - we must stand our ground and refuse to give up our free will. For now, these are mostly minor inconveniences of life. The very worst that could happen to a believer in this world is that we are killed. And what loss is that for someone who will immediately upon death find themselves in the loving presence of God Himself? If this is the case, what does it matter that liberals are teaching my children in school? I just need to teach them (my kids, that is) the Bible as is my duty anyway. It will eventually be their own choice whether to accept the Truth of the Bible and live it or choose the shackles of any shade of lies in this world to live by and be judged for. So, it does not really matter in the end. It is only a fancy that any agitation in this world changes our political or economic realities. It does not. It is God Who raises kings and debases them, Who raises nations and destroys them. Liberals are doing nothing that we should lose sleep about. Nor can any number of YouTube videos make a dent in what is happening. If the trends change at all, we will find out in the end that it had next to nothing to do with any agitation on anybody's part.
We are much better off - as Christians - focusing on learning the Bible in its entirety so that we can live in a way that God will praise us for in the sight of all men and angels. If we do not, these things are only floods that will sweep us away, weeds that will overwhelm us and render us unproductive.
It's not about isolation. It's about avoiding hyper-involvement. I will work, pay my taxes, obey the law - as far as it does not violate my conscience to do so -, and live at peace with my neighbor as long as it is up to me to do so. But I am not here to fix this world. It was cursed by God because of Satan's hijacking of it and man's rebellion against his Creator and Master. And God has promised to by Himself redeem it so I am only here to prove myself worthy of the redemption He has already planned for His Creation.
Forgive me, but this is why I try to encourage us to pay close attention to the prophecies of the last things that our Lord Himself commanded us to give earnest heed to. We cannot avert anything. But that does not mean that we should become fatalistic. There is a middle ground. In that middle ground, we live by the laws that keep societies working and do our best to uphold them. But laws are the products of our collective consciences. Soon, people will give up good conscience (evidence of such behavior is abounding now as evidenced by that video) and then laws will be made that uphold wickedness of such incredible proportions as to dismay many people who are not prepared for it. What then? Shall we form guerilla units and try to "save the world"? From what or who? And how? The Scriptures give us a hope: they tell us that our God WILL come with His mighty arm revealed to save US from the madness that is consuming and will consume the world. Do we believe Him? If we do, then we will be the most diligent we can be in keeping good laws and following Christ so that we are not truly at fault when the Judge returns.
Evangelism is not one of the things you should have thought of when I said "nothing we do can change anything". Evangelism is about giving people a choice about eternity. Not about politics or economics. Many misguided believers are on one or the other side of any given number of political or economic or social arguments. They won't be condemned to the Lake of Fire for it. Those who will go to the Lake of Fire are those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus. So, the issue is hardly about making society this or that. We evangelize to give people an in to God's Truth. And even then, it is ultimately their choice both to get into the Truth and to grow in it. Nor does any of that mean that we will just sit quietly by and let the world burn. We were told to pray and prayer is hugely effective for mature believers.
That Christians are paying a price for going against the tide *when* they are seeking, following and growing in God's Truth and in helping others do the same is not at all unusual. It is the normal affair for us. And in fact it is something we are told to rejoice in because of the eternal rewards attached to it. As for other Christians criticising them, that is always unfortunate. But even that should not stop us. But sometimes "going against the tide" is not necessarily following God's Truth in Christ or becoming productive for God. At such a time, it is good to remember when our Lord told Paul that it is useless to "kick against the goads". We should always be careful to be on God's side no matter what.
Daniel worked in a political office, several in fact, for an idolatrous government. And we know how much God valued him. And Herod's steward's wife was a very important disciple of our Lord's named alongside Mary Magdalene. It is hardly against Scripture that we should serve in a political appointment in and of itself. But it is up to us to decide how spiritually beneficial or dangerous any given post or appointment may or may not be.
What I am saying is very different. I am saying that we cannot and should not try to fix this world. That is the Lord Jesus Christ's job. Only He knows how to do it and possesses the means to do it as well. For us, we are to accept it as is and do our best to use our time in it to prove beyond doubt that we prefer God's Truth to any lie of whatever color that Satan is selling. That does not mean that we should do a poor job if we are government officials. It does not mean that we should not use the law. It does not mean that we should become hermits. It only means that we should never allow ourselves to be deceived that anything about this world can be fixed without the return of our King. If we are, we may soon find ourselves stolen from Him so that we will be among the enemies that He will destroy at His return.
You have not understood me if you keep saying that I mean that we should do nothing. The Bible tells us to pray. And our Lord Jesus told us to buy a sword on our journey through this life as pilgrims. The law is a sword of a sort. If someone attacks me for doing a legal business in a legal way because he wants me to violate my conscience but the law says that he should do no such thing, I will take him to court and insist on my right to do business as I see fit within legal limits...if I see this to be an actually beneficial path to follow, that is. It is not wrong. But it is not always beneficial. What is extremely dangerous for a Christian to do in that event is to make a social cause out of it. You will pay very heavy spiritual consequences for doing so.
As for laws that are opposing our Faith, what will you do if the Lord leaves you in the Great Tribulation when all laws are bent toward exterminating every sign of Christ from this world? Will you start a guerilla unit to fight back? The Bible warns you not to. When the law is wielded against our Faith, there are only two biblical responses: flee or be persecuted. If you can't flee, you must bear your persecution with the patience of Jesus Christ looking forward to a day of redemption and vengeance in your behalf.
This is not about being a pacifist. There are three options, not two. One, try to change the world to become more accommodating to our Faith and choice of lifestyle. This is unbiblical. Two, either give in to the world or try to remove yourself from it. Both are unbiblical. Three, refuse to be bullied by the world to give up your Faith and spiritual priorities but do not attempt to impose either your Faith or spiritual priorities on others. This is biblical. This involves using the protection of the Law wherever you are as long as it is available to you to live your godly life in peace. Where the law has turned against you because of your Faith, accept the persecution in patient confidence that the coming King will avenge you upon your oppressors.
There is much more to say to explain this but let me try for brevity. When we say "better" or "worse", we don't all necessarily mean the same things but we all want the same thing. To illustrate, no matter who is speaking, everyone thinks a better world is any world where they get everything they want and nothing they don't want. However, when we take any given person and put all they want in one basket and all they don't want in another basket, we may find plenty that won't fit in either basket because many things we want have unpleasant consequences that necessarily follow them. And also because there is plenty that we want which is just plain impossible, for example, atheists want there to be no God. This is impossible. If there isn't a God, there is no atheist and no world of any sort.
So, when we make policies, sometimes it makes life far more painful for those who have to live by them and sometimes it makes it far more pleasant. But it does not make the world better or worse.
The only good world that anybody will experience before the commencement of Eternity is in the Millennium during the reign of Jesus Christ. Justice will be perfect then. Instruction in the Truth will be perfect then. Even the burden of living in the flesh then will be perfect as well. Nobody can create that world but our Lord Jesus Christ.
And even in that world, that same perfection will make many so lazy and foolish that at the first opportunity, they will challenge our Lord in war and occasion the utter Destruction of the material universe at that time.
For now, my meaning was this: all these agitations about how the world is being made worse in this or that way and can and should be made better in this or the other way are really distractions from the real issue of seeking, learning, believing and growing in God's Truth and helping other willing people to do the same.
We are told by Paul speaking through the Holy Spirit:
1 Corinthians 7:29-32 NASB
But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.  But I want you to be free from concern.
Spiritual growth alone is a very daunting task. That is to say nothing of actual production for our Lord in this world. Satan gets very interested in any believer who decides to get serious and learn what the Bible really has to teach us. It is not long after one starts on that path before he gets overwhelming incentive to quit. That is why the Bible likens our life as believers here on earth to warfare. It is a war to win the Truth and hold it without losing it until our Lord returns to relieve us. That is something you have to do with Satan's exceptionally active opposition. Why would you want to add more burdens to that if you can help it?
As a matter of fact, that is why Satan designed his system the way he did. If you, like me, have a strong feeling for fairness, then any perceived abuse of the Law will make you want to do something about it. But to do something about it, you will find that you soon have to forget your pursuit of God's Truth increasingly until you have no space for it anymore. I am persuaded that this is not the better path to follow.
This is why Paul told us in no uncertain terms:
1 Timothy 2:1-4 NASB
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
We have no better recourse than to prayer especially when the law has been coopted for evil as it most certainly will be in the Great Tribulation. After all, Daniel was speaking under inspiration when he said,
that you be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.
And what about Nebuchadnezzar himself?
"All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What have You done?'
This is why Paul also taught us:
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.
Without exception, all governments are God's ministers or deputies. Their evil is as much a tool in God's Hands as their good is. It is God with Whom we have to do not with men. It is important always to remember that or else we will lose our way in this world.
As for sanity in the polity, please rest assured that there is none and there will remain none until the Lord Jesus returns to crush all His enemies and take control of the world. In fact, Scriptures assure us that not too long from now rather than any improvement, the world is going to get so much worse that we will despair unless our hopes are secure in the third Heaven where our Lord Jesus Christ is.
The whole business of seeking, learning, believing and applying God's Truth is really what spiritual growth is. So, when you do all four, you are growing in God's Truth. Spiritual production for the Lord is the second part: helping other willing people to also seek, learn, believe and apply God's Truth.
Our free will allows us to define ourselves not the world external to us. That means that we do not decide what is or is not a distraction because that is not a free will choice. A distraction is a distraction independent of us. Our choice is to decide how much of it we will allow into our lives and how we will control it.
This is why, for example, we are told in the Bible that it is better not to be married because marriage is very distracting in itself. But so is the demand of the body for those who do not have the gift of celibacy. So, if one must get married, they are to be sure to act as if they "have no wife (husband)" or else marriage can render us unproductive for Christ.
So, it is not just that something will distract you only if you want it to. It will if you let it into your life especially without the proper directing of its flows and ebbs.
This is why I said both that we cannot escape dealing with other people in this world which is why we will definitely have dealings with politics, for example, political appointments may come our way just because we handle the law right and are responsible citizens, and that we should not give ourselves over to politics so that we start trying to fix the world through political activity.
This world will definitely present much that we cannot avoid because we are still in mortal flesh. But we are not therefore to throw our whole selves into it just because we cannot live in this world otherwise.
Again, another example. We must work in order to get sustenance. That is God's curse upon the earth. No one in this world will eat without expending effort in some way to win his bread. But many of us have turned work and career into a sort of religion. It has been so since the beginning of human history where people have said just like Nebuchadnezzar, "my right hand has given me all I have".
The result is that we forget that it is God Who gives to each one (man and beast) all that they need to survive and at just the right time.
So, men begin to think that they must work harder and harder in order to stay alive and soon begin to sacrifice opportunities to seek, learn, believe and apply God's Truth in their lives in favor of work and more work.
Thus, work which is in and of itself a distraction is allowed to overwhelm our true purpose here on earth.
The correct attitude is to know that we must work to stay alive per God's Curse but that means that we ought not to go overboard with it. Do what is necessary and make time all the time to pursue and possess God's Truth.
First, I have learned and am learning to avoid making applications for other people in their Christian walk. Like my mentor, I advise Christians to avoid politics as much as they can. But I don't believe that it is a sin to serve in government even as an elected official - which means that I don't think that it is necessarily a sin to run for office. But I am persuaded that it is very very ill-advised and can carry very serious spiritual consequences.
The same applies to social justice causes of all kinds. These things are dangerous traps and have a very real potential to derail Faith. Especially because they are based on the lie that our collective action makes some sort of difference.
Everything that happens in this world is subject to God's Eternal Decree. That is #1 Fundamental Principle to make peace with in order to be able to run the Christian race in this life. See Daniel 4:25, Matthew 10:26-31, Luke 12:4-7.
#2 Fundamental Principle. This world has been put in bondage to corruption by God Himself so that nothing whatsoever can in any way alter its nature until God's Own appointed time. And even at that time, only by God's Own chosen Means will anything about the nature of this world be changed. See Romans 8:19-21, Isaiah 30:26.
If we are at peace with these truths, then we can more properly appreciate the place of prayer and faithful following after Christ.
It is God not men Who runs this world. Although it is certainly Satan's world, even Satan cannot operate outside of God's Eternal Plan. Everything Satan could possibly conceive to do was accounted for by God before He created anything so that right now everything that Satan does is what God had already planned for. Thus, even the speck of dust propelled in any direction by my breath goes where it goes because that was where God designed for it to go. Nothing is outside of God's control.
In a community of human beings, the laws and rules and norms are decided by our collective consciences. That means that our laws exist because we all agree that certain things are necessary to protect from violation, because we all believe that some things are right and others wrong. But this is also because there Holy Spirit restraint every single human being in this world from pursuing or giving in to their worst impulses unless they insist on doing so. As we get closer to the end, however, we see more and more people insisting on pursuing and giving in to their worst impulses. We are not yet in the Tribulation though. At that time, the Holy Spirit will cease His ministry of restraint to allow people to give full rein to the evil in them as they themselves wish. This will aid the Antichrist in changing the laws to allow for such wickedness as this world has never seen since the beginning of human history. This is something that the Lord has decreed. In other words, good laws that allow us to make a personal choice to seek, learn, believe and apply God's Truth to our lives exist today not because of any agitation on anybody's part but because of the Ministry of the Holy Spirit Himself. This is why Paul's instruction to us if we want quiet and peaceful lives in our pursuit of God's Truth is to pray and keep the law and respect authorities. Nowhere does the Bible teach that we should attempt to correct the laws or attempt social justice campaigns in order to maintain our Faith. Those are very dangerous things to attempt. They never work but they do even worse than disappoint us in our expectations: they teach us to not trust God. God is in charge of the earth and will never allow anyone to take away our free will so that we will always be free to choose to seek His Truth, to learn it from approved sources of His, to believe it and to apply it to our lives OR not to. He is the Protector of our free wills. Not us. The law exists to protect our free wills. We ought to use it for exactly that purpose. But when we try to impose our idea of the perfect society upon the institutions of society, we run the risk of being the ones from whom God will protect other people's free will choice to seek and follow Him in Christ Jesus or not.
What should we do then? Pray. Use the law as far as we can. The same way that Paul appealed to Caesar and also used the protection of Roman military to travel when justice was being denied him and the Jews planned to murder him, we too can use the law to protect ourselves from criminal persecution.
But sometimes the law turns against us, what then? Not try to change it. Not try to prevent it from doing so. We can do neither in obedience to God. We can only escape to another society or community where we can seek and follow Jesus Christ in peace if we are able to flee. Or else we must patiently endure the persecution always turning to God for vengeance and justice and redemption. This is what the Bible actually teaches. We cannot prevent the law from turning against us. Only God can. So we pray and ask Him to. Perhaps He will make us an Esther in answer to our prayer so that the law is arrested in its trend. Perhaps He will not because He has decreed that our Faith be tested in this manner. It is His Own Prerogative to decide one way or another. We do not and cannot make that decision for Him, not least because He made it before ever creating even the angels who preceded us in creation.
Textbook history, for all the good it does us in helping us appreciate events long past, is not very good at attaching the right value and significance to the events and people it reports about to us. Only at the Judgment Seat of Christ will we know exactly what made what possible when.
And history may not make very prominent many failed causes but there are plenty failed causes out there which had charismatic leaders, just as "justified" a grievance, just as "righteous" a protest and maybe just as great a support as some which may have seem to have succeeded. Some of these causes fail at one time and succeed at others. Some of them succeed at first and collapse later. Sometimes it pleases the Lord to let us see how one cause as righteous as it seemed at first turns out to be every bit like the devil once it succeeds. This is what happened to socialism and communism, is it not? But the fact that capitalism is not socialism or communism does not mean that it will not end up every bit the ruthless monster that it's opposite turned out to be once it wins too. These things are lessons to us that we don't know what we think we know and therefore should be at least extremely wary of any desire to fix this world's mess.
Satan is not a human genius. He is way smarter than a human genius could hope to be. Satan was once the preeminent creature that God made. He was the highest ranking angels and was described as full of wisdom. His genius is terrible. Had it not been for God's Truth and the help of His Spirit, we could never survive this struggle with him. He knows how to put people in catch-22 situations so that all the obvious choices are bad for you. This is why we need to avoid getting INTO this world. It's hard enough just to be here, we don't need to get that much more involved.
So we ought to pray. Prayer after all is petitioning the King of the Universe. It is unfortunate that we think so little of it. To be able to present a petition to the most powerful monarch in existence who can make anything happen has got to count for something. To learn to petition Him right so that our prayers are not only acceptable to Him but are pleasing to Him so that He answers them because we ask for the right things the right way is far more effective than any social campaign we may think to start.
This is the application I advise. It is what I see in the Bible and it seems to me to be the very best way to approach any concerns at all.
A thought about speaking out. Daniel, Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego were all high-ranking officials in Babylon and Daniel had the fierce respect of Nebuchadnezzar who was a true despot if ever there was one. Yet, when the oppressive religious laws to force everyone INCLUDING their Jewish friends and family with them in exile into idolatry were made by this despot, we have no record of any of these four "speaking out" in the traditional fashion. There were no campaigns or palace coups and I cannot believe that they could not have done something like those in an age where influence and political power was a risky thing to let anyone besides the king to have since that was a fast way to lose the kingdom.
Then Artaxerxes had Mordecai another palace official who saved the king's life. Yet when the law to exterminate Jews went out, he did not start mounting pressure on the king just because he owed him his life to do something about it. Rather, he used what we may call soft power. He asked Esther to do what she could. Esther herself was apprehensive because even as the king's favorite, she had no free access to him. It was a gamble to go into his throne room when she did. That could have cost her her life. It took great wisdom and the Mercy of God for her to get to making her request in the first place.
Now, in our days, people say that things have changed and we have democracy now. So, it's like "who is a king that we should fear him now?" Democracy is like many of the other smoke screens that Satan has used to blind the eyes of the unbelieving in this world. It is not real. Rulership lies in the hands of those who rule regardless how they got there. So, call him a president, Prime Minister, comrade or whatever, he is a king if he tells you what to do and has the power to make you do it. As such, every government in the world today is in the same position as Nebuchadnezzar or Artaxerxes was. We are not to willfully and arrogantly antagonize them as if we were gods in our own right.
So speaking out has to mean something different than a social campaign. I am making this clarification for the benefit of all as I believe that you agree with me that social campaigns and political activity to "change the world" or "make it a better place" are at best wasteful exercises and at worst very antichristian behavior.
I would advise that speaking out should only be done extremely respectfully of authorities that God has ordained in His Own Power and only in such contexts as are educational for those who may be seeking to learn the Truth.
By extension, we should also be wary of class action on behalf of "our children" and "the weak among us". Our primary responsibility to others is to help them to come to Salvation and the committed knowledge of the Truth if they desire it. Again, not social justice. If the law forbids our children to have the Bible read to them at school, let's read it to them at home. If the law insists that our children must learn evolution in school, let's teach them creation at home. We will not answer to God for having our kids in schools where evolution is taught and the Bible is despised. But we will certainly answer to Him for not reading the Bible to them at home and failing to teach them its truths. A similar thing applies to "the weak among us". As our Lord Jesus once had occasion to say to His disciples, notably Judas Iscariot who betrayed Him, "the poor we will always have with us." The material misery of other people is of little moment compared to the great condemnation awaiting everyone who does not believe and love the Truth in the Day of Christ.
And we can teach the Truth even when the law says that we must not. At worst, as I said, we will be killed for insisting on obeying God rather than men, but so what? What loss do we suffer when we die? We go to be with our loving God Who will wipe every tear from our eyes and give us pleasures such as truly put this world's greatest offers in the shade. There is no loss in that.
The trouble always is that we have to make sure that we don't love this world more than Christ. Because it is a desire to have this world's "good things" that often drives us to try to change laws or institutions. But as people who love Christ, our prime concern is to learn His Truth and grow in it and help others do the same. As long as we are alive, that is what ideally we want to be doing. Whether the law is to our benefit in doing so or not should not matter. Whether we do so in prosperity or in penury should not matter.
It is specifically to prove our own hearts to us that God does allow the world to get really crazy on us sometimes. When rulers make laws that make our love of the Truth a painful affair for us, then the test is whether we truly love the Truth or not. Do we love the Truth enough to stick with it under threat from the law? Then when things are very nice for us, the test is whether we stuck with the Truth only because we thought it was only good for bad times. So, when we are comfortable and perhaps wealthy, the Truth is no longer worthy of us?
Life here on earth is a test of our love for the Truth. Our circumstances are always divinely arranged for that testing. Therefore agitations about our circumstances are usually rebellion against the testing. And it is always not in our favor to rebel against it.
So, in sum, better not to "speak out" in the usual, traditional fashion or carry out class actions for social justice.
Yours in our very dear Lord Jesus Christ
I think you did an outstanding job here. It is always difficult
conversing with others about the truth when those listening don't have
the same commitment to a certain basic set of doctrinal "facts", and I
think you did a masterful job of trying to explain certain basic
principles. Since the issue is one of application, trying to make others
understand application based upon principles they don't get or accept is
a doubly difficult thing to do, and I don't see any place to fault you
here at all. You got to all of the truly important points. One thing I
have noticed is that the closer one gets to God, just as in approaching
a huge mountain the larger He appears; but for those who are far from
Him (or not as close as we are) He doesn't appear all that big. That is
a distortion of true perspective on their part to be sure, since He is
larger than at present we can comprehend, but it does explain a lot
about the feeling of need to "do" certain things (because He is not big
enough to handle it) and the feeling of ego to want to do so (because He
needs our help! that is the effect if not articulated).
You are right to point out that the critical thing is what He has asked us to do. Has the Lord ever asked anyone to rebel against a monarch, or conduct a sit-in, or run for political office, or organize a boycott or any other non-Church related collective action whatsoever? Not since the foundation of the Church Age (Israel as a nation is obviously a separate case). What we do personally, as you point out, may be a different story, but as you also make clear on this level we DO know what He wants first and foremost, namely, our spiritual growth, progress and production. Doing other things which He has not asked us to do . . . well let's just say that when they distract us from the things He HAS asked us to do we will be involved in a bad bargain indeed.
I think in apologetics of this kind one is always second-guessing oneself about what might have been said, but it is important to realize that what is really causing emotional upset (at least in my experience) is our feeling that we didn't accomplish what we were trying to do, namely, win the other person over to the truth. We always have to remember at such times that it is not our truth but the Lord's truth. If we are being faithful to it and expressing it well, that is really our "job for the Lord". What other people do with it is their business, and in the end that does not depend upon how articulate we are but how they react to the Spirit's witness.
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you for your analysis, Sir, and for the encouragement. I was truly concerned whether I had represented the Truth correctly there. I was much comforted to learn that I had. One of the people I was discussing with said that she both agreed and disagreed with me and I struggled to see how she disagreed. That was one of the things that troubled me. I wasn't sure if I was saying something I was failing to properly appreciate but which she was and perhaps others were too. But your analysis helped me understand. It may be that she did understand and agree in her spirit that I was speaking the Truth but she also wanted wiggle room, room in which to sometimes ignore the Truth that she recognized. Or there is some other better explanation. But I'm sure now that what I did say was true whatever she may have meant by her own responses. So, thank you very much again, Sir.
Yours in our dear Lord Jesus Christ
Yes, it's always difficult to try and figure out what is going on in another
person's heart. There are plenty of competing motives, especially whenever
anyone is not walking very close the Lord. And there is this spiritual
perceptual issue as well and how different things look to us when we are close
to Him than how they look to others when they are not. To return to the analogy,
I liken it to Mt. Everest or any other tall mountain. If you are standing at the
base of the mountain, it appears gigantic, and so it is. But if you are twenty
miles away perhaps you can barely see it and you have less cause to pay it
anything but passing attention. So it is with God. The closer we are to Him, the
more important He seems to us, the more real He seems to us, the harder He is
for us to ignore in all we think, say and do. But for those who are far away
it's not the same especially if they have turned their back and are moving
ever farther away. When you call Him to their attention, and they have a look,
that is of course going to be uncomfortable and cause them to realize if only
for a moment that yes He is important and "big" and maybe it's time to start
moving back over in His direction. But that decision has to come from within,
and we all know that it is not an easy one to make in the first place, still
less to be consistent with in the follow through.
So be encouraged my friend. You are doing a good job for the Lord. How He is employing it is His concern and that of those whose choice it is to make.
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Greetings Dr. Luginbill,
Here is an article I found. If this is true, I am not sure what to think about this. Is this okay? Is this what Jesus would do? I feel conflicted in this manor. Please let me know what you think.
Good to hear from you.
I always strongly advise Christians to stay away from politics. This link is a good example of at least one reason why: if a Christian engages in politics or political action, inevitably they will be supporting individuals who are not Christians and/or do not behave in Christian ways (even if believers), and will be wrapping themselves around policies and actions which may claim to be Christian but seldom are (and are often just the reverse). It is good to remember that the very first political action campaign in history was the devil's successful effort to convince on third of the angels to rebel against God and all politics has the essential features of this first campaign subtly interwoven into its warp and woof (see especially the Satanic Rebellion series at the link). Here is what our Lord said about this subject:
And he said unto them, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's."
Luke 20:25 KJV
Christians who concern themselves with the things of God spiritual growth, progress and production and stay away as far as possible from the things of this world (politics in particular) are not only happier but live lives more pleasing to the Lord as a result. Here are some links on this (they will lead to many others):
Politics versus Spiritual Growth I
Politics versus Spiritual Growth II
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Wow! Thanks for the response. I have read the first link. I feel very similar to how Christians should deal with politics. (Which is not at all).
I also, agree with you on the Less is more when showing our faith through objects like Tattoos, bumper stickers (those really gets to me) and the like.
Given our first series of emails, I did not think we could agree on much. Thank you. I hope that you are feeling better. I also, hope that your mother's situation has improved.
You're most welcome.
Feel free to write any time.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
It's been awhile, but I find myself in need of another perspective on this question, because I am in a couple of situations where I find myself not wishing to do business with companies. In one of these cases, I feel as though the gaming company in question wronged my fiancee, and I no longer feel the desire to play their video game as a result; although, on my part, there are other reasons for no longer wishing to play their game, as I do have a history of being addicted to that particular kind of game. As such, I've kind of developed a kind of 'paranoia' about becoming addicted to that type of video game again, and take perhaps a bit of a too strong approach of keeping myself away from that kind of game if I think I may get addicted again. I would rather be 'paranoid' about possible addiction than let my guard down, so I for the most part try to stay away from that kind of game but this is a secondary point to the question I was coming to you about.
The other scenario was a much longer and involved story about Walmart having wronged her and (at least if we are right) essentially kept her from finding work for the past few years by marking her leaving as not having given notice, and just 'walking out' on the job when she did not. The issue with Walmart was eventually corrected years later, but we still do not wish to do business with them because of what happened.
While we're not "boycotting" these companies per se, we simply don't wish to do business with them anymore, but I am worried about if whether or not this is the same thing as not forgiving? Is the very act of not wishing to do business with these companies the same thing as holding a grudge against them? My point of view is a simple, "we'll take our business elsewhere" more than it is anger or hatred towards them, at least on my part. Is this wrong of us? Is it being unforgiving?
It's definitely possible to forgive without also being an idiot. A Christian
might forgive someone who robbed his/her home; an idiot would give said person
the keys to "prove forgiveness".
You're not obligated to play games at all, nor to shop at any store at all. As long as you are not harboring an attitude of hate and retaliation in your heart, it isn't wrong to stay away from people / places / things that were problematic, harmful and dangerous in the past. It's all about what's going on in your heart.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I suppose sometimes it is just hard to separate feeling wronged and possibly
angry over something from actual hatred and a desire for revenge, at least for
myself. I need to remember that wanting to be away from something and not around
it is not the same thing as keeping a hate in your heart and seeking to 'get
back' at whatever or whomever wronged you. I just wanted to make sure I was
making a correct distinction. I think sometimes when the wrong is still 'recent'
and you might be feeling anger or pain over it, it feels as though it's
unforgiveness, even though it is not the same thing.
Thank you for your insight into these matters.
That's it exactly. Spiritual maturity is, in many ways, about distinguishing principles of truth from false or misleading emotional signals.
Hi Dr Luginbill,
Is it okay with God if I don't read the news? I mean do you think we have an obligation to know what is going on? Most of it does not affect us, and I keep finding myself radicalising over this and that, and I start to get filled with hate. The medias also lie all the time and it is very hard to know who is telling the truth. But if the antichrist does come, maybe we have to pay attention and just fight off those things. I have a hunch I am not the only one veering like this.
There's nothing wrong with staying abreast of current events. But
there's nothing wrong with refusing to watch "news" programs either. The
"news" nowadays as I see it on the tube (and more so in print too) is
much more commentary than actually factual reporting. Reporters often
get things wrong. As I often point out, almost everyone who has seen
some report in a local paper about some event the church picnic, for
example can remember details which were reported incorrectly. If that
is the case with relatively simple things close to home, how much more
so when the subject being reported on is overseas or very complicated
(or both). As a historian by secular profession (ancient history), I can
tell you that reports at the time are always necessarily deficient. I am
an avid reader of military history, and I can tell you that the
difference between the picture one would get from the newspaper about
how things were going on some front in WWII and what was actually
happening (which has now been well-researched after the fact) were in
some cases night and day differences.
So even in terms of "facts", any intelligent consumer of "news" has to take things with a large grain of salt and allow for inconsistencies, mistakes, and ignorance. Then we come to the problem of bias. All reporters and news organizations are biased, and in our day those biases are not really even hidden very carefully anymore (which is maybe a good thing). But what you seem to be describing really is all about this relatively new phenomenon of "news programs" spending much more time on "analysis" by which they mean political side-taking by opposing pundits who scream at each other. If a person has any opinions of his/her own (and who of us does not?), it's pretty hard to watch such shows and not get a rise in blood pressure. But I don't think listening to commentary unless it really is by an expert who is giving details and background which are not common knowledge is likely to do much more than get a person cheering or yelling at the TV set. Indeed, that is the purpose (it's good for ratings because people find it less boring than detailed, factual reporting). Personally, when I do watch news on TV, I tend to tape the show and avoid watching long segments about politics where I already know the gist and delete the show when it comes to the commentary part. If it's making you upset, it probably isn't the best idea to watch it, after all.
We do have a kingdom, the kingdom of God. This is not our country our citizenship is in heaven (Phil.3:20). And our King is perfect in every way. If we are serving Him in our hearts first and foremost, then we can more easily let go of whatever is transpiring around us . . . because it matters little. In fact, from an eternal perspective the one we're supposed to have it matters not a whit . . . unless we let it get to us in which case it is detrimental to our spirituality. That is why I always counsel Christians to stay away from politics. It is sometimes hard not to become concerned about health or job or relationships because these things do affect the texture of our lives directly so that having peace on these fronts requires a certain level of spiritual maturity. But getting upset about politics, when you think about it, is akin to getting upset about some sporting event. I put the two things in the same general category of non-essentials for the Christian life. They only become more than that when we get more wrapped up in them than is spiritually healthy.
Here are a couple of links on all this:
Politics versus Spiritual Growth I
Politics versus Spiritual Growth II
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
But for the country here, it seems a bit like dereliction of duty to watch your country deteriorate, and go communist, when my grandparents made an issue to fight it abroad. Would you say they were wrong to go and fight it?
If a person is drafted, they have to enter the military. There is
nothing at all wrong with serving voluntarily. I certainly did. But none
of "us" is in charge of what the country does / decides in terms of
leadership and political process. Paul was a Roman citizen. I suppose he
might have gotten exercised about "the Germania problem" or the
"Parthian problem" but that is never something that comes up in his
letters. Rather, he is concerned for the "spiritual growth" problem. And
that, it seems to me, is where we should be focusing too. Is it wrong to
get caught up in a fight your country is fighting? It's not wrong to do
what the law requires. Taking sides too vehemently, however, is likely
to be a bit warping of one's spiritual perspective. Causes are always
dangerous. So even if with the benefit of hindsight we can say, "Yes, I
would have fought King George / slavery / the Kaiser / Hitler / Stalin /
Sadam", it doesn't change the fact that if a Christian had been around /
capable of being involved during those prior eras that their MAIN job
for the Lord was still growing spiritually, progressing in their walk
with Jesus Christ, and helping others do likewise through ministry.
"Fighting" whomever might be something that had to be done, but focusing
on it to the exclusion of what this life is really all about is always a
mistake. Life is about choices. Choosing what is pleasing to Jesus
Christ is never a mistake.
In that same vein, I try not to worry about whatever politicians are running things or running away at the mouth. Since I was a youth, there has never been any dearth of that and nothing has really changed as a result . . . of that. Certainly, nothing has changed in terms of the basic principle that there are difficulties for Christians in this world and that in spite of them we are supposed to grow, progress and minister. That is what I am trying to do. That is what I am trying to help other do. That is my prayer for you too.
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Okay what you said does sound very wise. But the Lord did seem to imply that it is good and useful to seek the good of your country, and that it is possible to influence it positively (maybe even a duty):
"But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile ..."
Your friend, fellow soldier, student,
The question is "how" to seek such peace/welfare. Quoting the next part
of the same verse: "And seek the peace of the city where I have
caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the
LORD for it". The way the Hebrew reads does not present these
two things as discreet alternatives but one and the same thing.
Paul raised money for believers in Jerusalem.
So we should pray for our country (Peter and Paul both say that too). And we should look out for other believers who are suffering. These are totally different from political action and social action (which is NOT "believer-to-believer" aid).
Praying for you too!
As to politics of any sort, as mentioned, it's fine to have opinions,
but we need to remember that they mean absolutely nothing. What if we
are right? Good for us. But if we express these opinions to others it is
usually for the purpose, expressed or not, of persuading others. I
suppose that has some utility when it comes to standing up for "good
things". However, 1) in this life there are no "good things" when it
comes to politics, only really bad things, relatively bad things, and
not quite so terrible things; 2) convincing others of some political
point of view does nothing for the kingdom of God or the Lord Jesus
Christ; 3) expending whatever capital we have with others ought to focus
not on non-essentials like politics, it seems to me, but on leading
others to Christ or helping other believers follow Him better. Since
politics are divisive by nature, if we let out our opinions, we are
going to be alienating those who don't agree (whether the disagreement
is a little or a lot), without at the same time spiritual benefitting
the people who agree or whom we may convince.
This is very hard for all of us, especially when it comes to things which really "get our goat", and I certainly don't mean to suggest I'm perfect on this point. But it is an important point. This is not our eternal country our citizenship is in heaven (Phil.3:20), and it is from there that we are awaiting the coming kingdom of our true King. No one will ever straighten things out here on earth . . . until Jesus Christ rules from Jerusalem (not many years hence). Antichrist will claim to be doing just that, however, and he will be very persuasive, convincing many weak believers that he is "the Christ". So all who are seeking political solutions will be naturally inclined to follow the beast, because he will give the promise of "fixing things" very persuasively. All the more reason for those of us who actually know who our Lord is and who are actually trying to walk closely with Him to stay away from this insidious political trap and, as far as possible, not let anyone or anything "get our goat".
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Here's another story regarding state vs church. The gay community is upset over a soccer player Jaelene Hinkle not wearing a Pride t-shirt.
It's a true blessing NOT to be a celebrity. No one cares what we wear.
But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
1st Thessalonians 4:10b-12 NKJV
In Jesus our dear Savior,
What if one day a boss I work for or secular friends tells me and other people to wear a shirt like this at work for pride month?
Here is what I read in scripture:
LORD, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
Psalm 131:1 NKJV
Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
1st Timothy 2:2 NLT
God helping us, we will never have to involve ourselves in politics or political
action or any sort of thing like this. We certainly don't have to do what
"secular friends" tell us to do; bosses (in this country so far at least) don't
have the right to make us advocate for political or social causes. All manner of
"what ifs" of course are possible, but it's no good living our lives on "what
ifs". We deal with what the Lord gives us to deal with and we don't even worry
about tomorrow because it may never come. That is to say, today may be the day
the Lord takes us home. That is what we are waiting for, whether for His return
to us or our return to Him. In the meantime, all the "stuff" that happens in
this world is meaningless, "vanity of vanities" as Solomon says (Eccl.1:1ff.).
The only things that REALLY matter in this life are our spiritual growth, our
walk in the truth with Jesus Christ, passing the tests sent our way, and our
production for Him. That is what is going to determine our eternal rewards . . .
or lack thereof. What the world does or thinks is of ZERO importance. Peter and
Paul under the guidance of the Spirit both counsel obedience to authority
(Rom.13:1-7; 1Pet.2:13-21), and they lived under a government that persecuted
them both . . . to death. So long as we are not forbidden to do the good things
(listed just now) that God wants us to do, or required to do things that we are
not allowed to do as Christians, we have no reason to even complain. If we ever
are ordered to do something that violates our Master's commands such as
worship the beast we would rather die than do so. And the same thing goes for
whatever else we might be commanded to do which is clearly wrong to do and of no
So don't worry about it, don't fret about it, and focus instead on the opportunity the Lord has given you. You have a chance NOW to learn and believe and live the truth, and thereby to win great rewards that glorify Jesus Christ forever. That is what He wants from you. All the rest of the noise of this world is soon going to be gone forever . . . along with most of the people who are making it.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Hi Bob and family,
On another more worrying subject Im sure the events in our politics playing out this week with so many twists and turns, it is just unbelievable that these politicians just dont listen to the voice of the people. Even the opposition is saying it. Sadly, most Australians like Malcolm Turnbull, our P.M., but his government is imploding with so much internal fighting and no-one is listening to reason except the screams of their own egos and because of that the opposition is gleefully clapping their hands.
Sitting and watching the demise of what was a good government is just further proof of Satans involvement in our democratic system some politicians are openly saying they are looking for a saviour to pull us out of the mess we have found ourselves in and believe me this government has become a rabble. Seeing these things play out before your eyes is certainly confirming the times and days we are living in. By the time you read this we will most probably have a new P.M., which makes 7 over the last 10 years, and 5 just in the last 5 years!
I cant help but think this is all a precursor to the collapse and breaking down of society in a very short time soon to befall us.
Will make this do for now dear Bob and again with brotherly love,
Always great to hear from you, my friend!
Most people in this country are all upset over politics too. I try not to let it bother me. My King is in heaven and my citizenship is there as well (Phil.3:20). Nothing can disturb the inheritance I'm going to come into in the New Jerusalem, no one can plunder the treasury I have in heaven, and no one can snatch away my eternal crown unless I fall down on the job myself. And in just a few short years, the Lord will return. The seven preceding that blessed hope will be interesting, to say the least. If we let ourselves get too upset with the way things are now, well, let's just say that "we ain't seen nothin' yet" (Jer.12:5). But keeping abreast is probably not a terrible idea, just so we have an idea of what's on the horizon. The trick is not to let it bother us too much (there may be some of these politicians, public figures and celebrities who are not going to hell, but that number is likely to be VERY small if not absolute zero).
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Hi Dr Luginbill,
For awhile I was thinking about the intertwining of church and state. I recently found out that the consequence is that the state taxes people (forcefully takes their money at point of gun) to keep the church going. I did not realize that before. If that is the inherent thing, I think it is wrong to do that, and therefore there should not be an intertwining of church and state, even if they are all believers. It should not be by force. And it does seem to be inherent because when the queen promises to defend the Anglican Church in her coronation (specifically including its set up-protecting the current hierarchy, etc), well that can protect a bad set up, and takes maintenance/money at least, and most likely, an army (and things get blurred, because if you defend your "Christian country"...). I used to think the US was wrong and it should be like in Europe, but now I think America has it the right way. What do you think? I think for a lot of European history it was a legitimate question: "what happens when everyone, including the head of state, becomes Christian?" I think sort of what we ended up with in the more recent period.
As to intertwining through laws, you can't buy beer in my state (KY) on
Sundays before 1 PM (because you're supposed to be "in church"). Less
understandable is that no liquor sales are allowed on election day
before the polls close (we might get better electoral results if they
repealed that one).
I try to stay away from politics, so while any tax is annoying, as long as I am not forced to attend or to join the Anglican church, e.g., it's not that important to me. The biblical position is that as long as we are not forced to do anything we are not allowed to do (as in taking the mark of the beast) or prohibited from doing things we must do (as in the apostles being told by the Sanhedrin not to proclaim Christ), then we ought to let the rest of it go. Getting upset or even enthusiastic about political movements or positions or laws only begets becoming involved in the process and that is a bottomless pit that will suck all the energy and resources a person has (and submerge their spiritual growth as a result).
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
The limited times I have heard and read Europeans talk about their Christianity, it is always geographic and political. The idea that we are Pilgrims and not attached to the country seems to be lost with them. They appear to go the opposite direction and stock up on being attached and invested. I was just looking for an answer to the idea of political Christendom in the here and now: We shouldn't force believers to give money to the church, but that is what would be inherent. However voting on basic moral laws might be a bit different.
Very important: if it is the case that things will happen as you say. We will have to be paying close attention to current events to know when the beast's kingdom is thrown into darkness to leave.
I think keeping abreast of current events is an excellent idea. Getting upset by
them is pointless, however. Our King and our kingdom is in heaven, and our
eternal life is going to happen right on time regardless of anything anyone does
in this temporary world.
For churches to get involved in politics is the exact wrong thing to do. We are not required by God to vote (since it's not a requirement of the state), nor are we required to take up a partisan position or voice political opinions, and we are certainly not required to get involved in any sort of political action. We are most definitely happier if we don't do any of these things . . . and reserve the time, energy and peace we save and preserve as a result for a closer walk with Jesus Christ and the spiritual growth and production that pleases Him.
In our dear Savior.
I imagine there will be a hierarchy in eternity, but I imagine in the new bodies problems of sight/hearing-that we will see and hear on a whole other level. It is just for people who feel they are already on the bottom, it's like saying it never really changes for them.
I can assure you that the lowest of the low believer in the Church will still be
part of the Bride of Christ, beloved of Jesus, and a part of us all just as we
are part of each other all in a closeness of blessing to our Lord and each other
which will put into the shade the most sublime happiness possible in this
temporary world. In New Jerusalem, there will be no recriminations, no regrets,
no bad feelings only joy beyond present imagination. Will some have honors and
blessings above and beyond? Indeed they will. I fully expect that, e.g., the
apostles and the great prophets and great believers of scripture will be among
the highest of the highest and will enjoy the fruits of their good work for the
Lord. But so shall we all, to the extent that we produced them. There won't be
any negatives, only good, better, best, where "good" is better than anything we
can imagine. In fact, as I often say, I am sure that if we could experience
eternity in a resurrection body for five seconds, it would ruin us for any
further life in this body and this world, because thereafter we would be able to
think of nothing else.
We have every reason and every biblical assurance to set our hope on all that is to come without reservation.
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who paid the price that we might have all those wonderful blessings to come.
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
I have a comment and a question on this verse:
"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
2nd Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
Comment: Seems to me that many in the Christian world take this verse and use it
to apply to the USA. I believe we do a disservice to God when we take His Word
and apply it to where it does not belong. Questions:
1. In the context in which it is written, does it not apply only to the nation of Israel?
2. I believe the name of Israel in the Hebrew means "May God Prevail"?
3. But, what is the meaning of "which are called by My Name"? What is the Name being referred to here, Yahwah, God, or ? Christian, Believers, Sons of God?
Certainly, it does not appear that the Nation of Israel prevailed but failed God many times. But, God did always prevail. Can you please tell me whether I am on the right path in my thinking, or am I not interpreting these Words correctly? Thanks always for your great help and encouragement. Also, I realize that we can indeed humble ourselves and pray and seek God's face, that situations can change according to God's will. I do not mean to infer that the concept of this verse is not applicable to us, for "All scripture is God breathed and profitable".
1. It's a good distinction. We are not Israel. The US is not "the people
of God", nor are we collectively "called by His Name". We who are
Christians are so, of course, so that both individually and collectively
as Christians these words certainly apply. Believers are also "salt",
and thus the preservative of any nation in which they find themselves.
But if the salt has "lost it's savor" . . .
2. On the name "Israel", yes, that is a standard rendering. My take is a little different. For more on that please see the link: "etymology of Israel".
3. The phrase doesn't specify. More literally, "Upon whom / over whom My Name is called". The meaning is that God has marked out Israel as specially belonging to Him. His Name is a synonym for Him, His Person. His Name (and various appellations) are valuable in that they tell us about Him, His Person. Cf. Matthew 28:19-20 where being "baptized into the Name" is Spirit baptism into the Person of God (Name = Person).
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
NATION IS BLEEDING
Just seven decades ago, my motherland was an emblem of love, peace, and unity. There was sanctity, economic progress, near zero cases of bribery and corruption, quality education, adequate basic social amenities, and agricultural boom. It was a pride to chant our melodious national anthem. But today the nation is bleeding bruised by the sins of the lawlessness of people. People are driven by lust and selfish desires no matter what matters to the country or fellow citizens. They are fearless to twist tongues to justify evil doings. The country has been recovering from needless bloodshed for 30 years now bleeding again. As Christians, we need to pray earnestly for the nation seeking institute of law and order. Open people's blindness. Repent and turn to Christ. Some may view cry for prayer may be a futile effort. But there isn't a better or more effective result oriented source. ..I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
I pray for you daily, brother.
Christians who are advancing spiritually are "salt" for their nation. God honors the nation for the sake of those whom He esteems. So the best thing we can do for our country wherever we live is to keep growing, advancing and producing for Jesus Christ. We can certainly pray for others to be saved and do likewise (we ought to be doing that in any case), but it can be a trap to focus on the big picture which God has entirely in His control and lose sight of our own personal responsibilities. The worse case scenario, if we are truly doing our own job for Jesus Christ, is that while we may not be enough to deliver our nation (cf. Ezek.14:13-18), we will be delivered ourselves whatever happens around us if so wills the will of God (cf. Jer.39:16-18).
In Jesus Christ who is our mighty Deliverer.
Thank you for your wisdom words. Please advise if I am right to comprehend your comment "..we may not be enough to deliver our nation.." as whatever our intentions prayed for finally, Gods will prevail?
Your kind reply is appreciated
You're very welcome, my friend.
What I mean by this is that in any nation there will likely be a "remnant according to grace" (Rom.11:5), and the nation will be blessed and delivered by God based upon its size and its quality. In the example cited, Ezekiel 14:13-18, Israel had gotten so spiritually degenerate that even a remnant consisting of Noah, Daniel and Job would be insufficient to deliver her from the coming judgment. So we cannot know all of the specifics, but we do know that 1) if our nation is going to be blessed and delivered, it will be because of the remnant of believers and the quality of their spiritual growth, progress and production for the Lord, and 2) if we are doing our job for the Lord personally, even if that is not, in concert with other believers, sufficient for the deliverance of the entire nation, we will nevertheless be personally delivered in whatever way the Lord desires.
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,